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Dallas Gourmet Gold Specialty Food Awards Call for Entries

Dallas Market Center has opened entries for the 8th Annual Dallas Gourmet Gold Specialty Food Awards to be held at Dallas Market Center during the Total Housewares & Gourmet Market, June 21-27.

The Gourmet Gold Specialty Food Awards celebrates exceptional manufacturers in the gourmet products industry exhibiting at Dallas Market Center. With more than 1,500 product lines of gourmet food and accessories featured in the Gourmet Market in the World Trade Center, gourmet maintains a strong presence at Dallas Market Center as resources in the category continue to expand.

Awards will be presented in 10 categories including a new Best Healthy Lifestyle award which includes one of the following health benefits: organic, sustainable, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, or nut free. June 2017 Gourmet Gold Specialty Foods Awards categories are: Best Baked, for cookies, cake, breads, mixes; Best Beverage; Best Condiment I, for sauces, rubs, seasonings; Best Condiment II, for oils, vinegars, dressings; Fruit Confit, for jams, jellies, preserves, marmalades; Best Soup/Chili; Best Chocolate Candy/Dessert; Best Non-Chocolate Candy/Dessert; Best Snack, for dips, salsas, nuts; and Best Healthy Lifestyle.

Food entries are judged based on taste, originality, and packaging. Participation is limited to current Gourmet Market exhibitors or Temporary exhibitors for June Market. Participants may enter in up to two categories, entry fee is $50 per entry or $75 for two entries. The entry deadline is Friday, May 12, 2017.

Judging will take place Thursday, June 22 and winners will be revealed during an awards ceremony and cocktail reception on Friday, June 23, in the World Trade Center Atrium at 6 p.m. For more information visit dallasmarketcenter.com.

Slow Food USA launches Slow Food Nations

Slow Food USA is launching Slow Food Nations with an inaugural food festival in Denver, Colorado, from July 14 through 16, 2017. Inspired by Slow Food International’s biennial Terra Madre gathering in Turin, Italy, Slow Food Nations will combine the energy of a street food festival, rigor of an academic conference, and inspiration of a cultural exchange. Alice Waters, Ron Finley, Simran Sethi, Jack Johnson, Hosea Rosenberg, and Alon Shaya are just a few of many food movement leaders joining the festival.

Entrance to the festival is free and includes a taste marketplace with 100 exhibitors and producers, an outdoor culinary stage, gardening and cooking activities for kids and families, heritage food tastings, author talks, and many more events.

Slow Food leaders from around the globe will participate in an all-day delegate summit on Friday, including small group discussions, focused working groups, and a lunch by Alice Waters that will explore school lunch as an academic subject. Delegates will then serve as hosts and speakers during the weekend festival.

The first round of ticketed events went on sale Monday, April 10. Events include taste workshops, block parties, regional food and farm tours, roundtable discussions, and one-of-a-kind dinners.

Slow Food Nations reimagines the food festival to inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair. As Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini says, “If you want to change the world, don’t do it with sadness; do it with joy!”

For the full lineup and details, visit slowfoodnations.org.

Retail Strategies for Multicultural Shoppers

With the rapid growth of multicultural households in America and their unparalleled influence on the marketplace, market researchers suggest that there is a strong need for retailers to revise their in-store strategies to include a wider range of fresh food products and flavor profiles that cater to the multicultural consumer set. With this in mind, Nielsen has released a comprehensive report to help retailers understand the influence multicultural consumers wield across the meat, produce, seafood, deli and bakery categories. The report entitled, “A Fresh Look at Multicultural Consumers,” reveals strategic insights for retailers looking to leverage new growth opportunities across the perimeter over the next several decades.

Multicultural consumers are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and the growth engine for fresh food categories within the grocery space. According to this Nielsen report, multicultural households spend a higher share on fresh food as a percentage of their total food spend compared to non-Hispanic white households. In fact, multicultural consumer shoppers make 3 percent more trips to the store containing fresh items and spend 4 percent more per year on fresh items. This results in a $2.2 billion opportunity for retailers.

For many multicultural families, fresh food is a dietary staple. The multicultural preference for fresh comes from cooking and eating norms that centrally reflect the unique cultures of African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics. That said, the allure of multicultural flavors and desire for fresh food are influencing a wider range of shoppers and becoming a key driving force for fresh growth.

“In order to tap this critical market, retailers need to rethink their delivery and assortment strategies of fresh products being offered to today’s increasingly multicultural shoppers,” said Courtney Jones, Vice President of Multicultural Growth and Strategy at Nielsen. “To be successful, retailers must understand the importance that culturally relevant, fresh offerings play in the multicultural shopper landscape. Retailers must also embrace the many layers of multicultural consumers and the undeniable ‘halo effect’ that those consumers are having on mainstream non-Hispanic white shoppers. The multicultural consumer covers a broad spectrum, from multi-generational families to Millennials, to Asian American, African American and Hispanic subgroups that have been influenced by distinct global culinary traditions. Retailers must consider the multi-ethnic tastes of their current and desired customers and recognize that the palates that favor multicultural flavors are influencing the taste preferences of non-Hispanic whites and society at large.”

The report’s key findings include the notion that multicultural flavors have moved into the mainstream for the deli department and continue to grow, also attracting non-Hispanic white shoppers who are inspired by the ethnic flavors found in the deli. Multicultural consumers are taking advantage of the quick and easy meal solutions and meals for large families within the deli department.

In the produce department, all kinds of shoppers are being inspired by the produce used in culinary traditions other than their own, and social media influences, television cooking programs and popular restaurant flavor trends are infiltrating the produce aisle. For example, the growth of habañero, with items popping like habañero grilled vegetable and even habañero margaritas.
Neilson’s research found that multicultural consumers spend more in meat and seafood departments than any other fresh department. Within the seafood department, multicultural households spend $62 a year, compared to non-Hispanic white households at just $43. Multicultural consumers are less willing to purchase branded fresh meat and seafood items; instead there is preference towards made-to-order, unbranded meat products, typically prepared behind the counter.

The bakery offers the biggest opportunity for multicultural consumers, who spend only 9.8 percent of their fresh dollars on bakery items, according to Neilsen. The report suggests that the bakery’s proximity to the deli should be leveraged to create strong cross-department connections for multicultural shoppers across multiple entertaining categories.

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